The problem with enjoying these opportunities as a resident working full-time is that usually this kind of trips require you to reserve a whole day for hiking: even a simple daytrip consisting of driving, hiking and snack breaks easily takes up to 8 hours of your day. This was the concern we had with Alex the other day. We really wanted to spend a day together for once (it's a little tricky to find time for that at times since I'm working weekdays and he mainly does weekends), but Alex was working in the morning. We could only leave a bit after 1pm.
So Cap Tourmente National Wildile Area was a perfect destination! According to the website it would take 2 to 4 hours to hike a trail - a little different to Bras du Nord's estimated 6 hours... Upon arrival, we decided to choose a trail called La Falaise, with a high-level difficulty and a rewarding viewpoint at the end. In Alex's words, this place is actually more about walking around than hiking, but as the map underneath might tell, our chosen trail is pretty much steep up-hill until the end.
|Map from Environment Canada|
Despite the difficulty level, this 4.2km trail is pretty much the easiest I've experienced so far. Cap Tourmente is actually not about hiking, but protecting greater snow geese, which I was unfortunately unable to record on camera. But I swear, there were seriously thousands of them.
So we walked for two hours, and I had a chance to take some pretty nice pictures of the hill we ended up conquering. We couldn't have chosen a better weekend for our little trip, since the ruska (still struggling to find another word for this, excuse my Finnish) was at its best. All these autumn colours!
|The first wildife area with a railway track that I've seen....|
We made it to the top after some panting and one very short break. My bright-coloured hiking shoes I bought in July have been serving me incredibly well - 119$ well spent. Alex wins me at this though: the shoe you see in the picture has been doing its honourable job for 12 years now.
And as expected, the view from the top is breathtaking as always:
My Finnish friend, who visited me here in Québec, described the local nature by saying that it's like Finland, except that everything is bigger. I'd go a little further than that and say that everything is not only bigger, but also more colourful due to the bigger amount of deciduous trees, which I guess is a result of warmer local climate. Finland is all about pines and spruces even in the South.
It's surprisingly hard to dress for hiking at this time of the year though, as the temperatures vary from +12ºC during daytime to -2ºC at night. I started the hike by freezing, but during down-hill I seriously had to fight against the urge to remove most of my clothing layers. Luckily my University of Leicester hoodie seems to be suitable for every occasion, from work to hiking and interrailing.
The forest had a funny magical feeling to it. The trail was a child's play to walk after my mudslide-fest in Bras du Nord.
The experience was pretty awesome overall, and I hope our 11$ (6 for adults, 5 for students) helps the folk to protect the geese. Go greater snow geese!
Website: Cap Tourmente